Back in 2009, I walked into my house and noticed a shadow moving through my living room and saw broken glass strewn across the floor. I knew immediately that someone had broken into my house and that he was still there. I slowly backed out of the house.

When I got outside, I dialed 911 on my cell phone and started walking down the driveway toward the street. Back then, cell phones didn’t always connect immediately. As I waited for the emergency operator to pick up, I saw a man walking around the side of my house carrying a computer case in one hand and speaker on his shoulder. 

For a very brief second I thought, “Who is that?” Then it hit me that the burglar had come out the door on the other side of the house. I still had the phone in my hand when he saw me. Our eyes locked and he stopped dead in his tracks. 

My head flooded with adrenaline and before I could make a rational decision I pointed at him and yelled, “I’m about to kick your ass.” He dropped the speaker and took off running. I chased him for about a block and a half yelling threats and obscenities, all caught on the 911 recording. Two bystanders saw what was happening and grabbed him. Last I checked, he was still in prison.  

It took me more than 24 hours to come down from that adrenaline rush, but I learned a lot about myself from that experience. I used to ask myself what I would do in a similar situation. Now, I know. Smart or not, my decision to chase the robber was more of an involuntary reaction than a choice. My flight reflex is pretty weak and it brought clarity to why I’ve found myself in certain predicaments.

I think our nation is in one of those situations right now. We have a man in the White House who has violated norms and probably the constitution. He’s clearly used his office to profit from his election to the presidency. In the Ukraine, he withheld Congressionally sanctioned aid and asked the president of a foreign country to investigate his political rivals. He has attacked the integrity of our professional diplomatic corps and slandered people who have fought for our country. He’s fought to coverup his actions by denying access to witnesses and documents that could either vindicate or implicate him. 

In addition, Trump and his associates have surrounded themselves with unsavory characters. Numerous top advisors to his political campaign are in prison for corruption. Others are awaiting trial and more indictments might come. Accusations and information about illegal or unethical behavior continue spill from the people indicted or not yet sentenced.

Whether Trump should be removed from office or not is a legitimate debate, but to attack the integrity of the inquiry is denying the rule of law. It’s unpatriotic. The current moment tests whether our leaders will put country before party or not. 

Thom Tillis clearly puts his own political interest ahead of the country. Despite taking an oath of impartiality to hear arguments that the President of the United States abused his power and obstructed justice, Thom Tillis answered, “I will attack the inquiry instead of finding the facts.”

So at a time when our US Senators are asked, will you put your country first or your political career first, Thom Tillis has chosen himself. Now, he knows where he will stand. So much for patriotism. 

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